First, some disclosure. I’m not a TV guy. I catch the games when I can, but the standard MLB schedule is an inconvenience for me. If the games started at 5:00 AM, I’d be an overbearing, obsessive super fan. But as it is, I’m more of a reflective follower: I pore over box scores and recaps; skim the beat writers and read the blogs. Twitter is often my best gauge of team temperature, not my first-hand observation. So yes, I’m limited. And yet I still write publicly about the Pirates.
This morning I checked ESPN.com to see what their take was on the first series of games of the 2015 season, and lo and behold, the Pirates were the subject of the lead story on the MLB page! Welcome to the overdone world of being a contender in the age of ESPN. This is manufactured ‘news’ at its finest: have someone type up a few fancy stories about how great a team is and then spend the next six months helping people make sense of your columnist’s opinion.
The lead story (which also included the White Sox) was an ‘in depth’ analysis of how teams fare when they start off 0-3 (or 3-0). Turns out, on average teams generally do better after winning the first three games rather than losing the first three games. Let me repeat: it is better to win games; it is worse to lose games. That was the lead MLB story.
ESPN also asks the most important question: should fans worry about this start? David Schoenfield ends with “…it’s early and there’s need [sic?] to overreact; but I’d much rather my team be 3-0 than 0-3.” So it’s a definite ‘maybe’. I’m glad I added those 1,000 words to my morning reading. Turns out I may have worried (or not worried) for no good reason otherwise.
Small market fans tend to gripe about the lack of coverage their team gets from the major media outlets. Somehow I think it might be better if we’re spared the increased attention. Being mindlessly ignored seems better than being mindlessly obsessed about.